Ultrasound not needed for infants with single umbilical artery


NEW YORK (Reuters Health), Jul 16 - Routine postnatal renal ultrasonography is not necessary in infants with an isolated single umbilical artery (SUA), U.K. researchers report in the July issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood, Fetal and Neonatal Edition.

Dr. Sanjeev Deshpande and colleagues at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital note that there may be an increased risk of renal malformations in these infants, but there is controversy over the necessity of routine ultrasonography.

To investigate further, the researchers evaluated data from 2000 to 2006 on more than 33,000 live births at their institution. Of these neonates, 129 had SUA detected either on antenatal ultrasound scans or postnatal examination of the cord.

These infants were significantly more likely to be preterm and to be small for gestational age. A total of 122 (95%) infants underwent renal ultrasonography, but only 2 (1.6%) had clinically significant renal anomalies. The difference was not statistically significant from the prevalence in controls (0.4%).

The investigators conclude that "postnatal renal ultrasonography is not routinely warranted in such infants."

Dr. Deshpande told Reuters Health: "The results of our study should help avoid unnecessary investigations in babies with single umbilical artery and reduce parental anxiety."

By David Douglas

Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 2009;94:F265-F267.

Last Updated: 2009-07-14 17:44:10 -0400 (Reuters Health)

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